According to our religious festival or ritual, Paryushan, we are to observe and try to commit as less of wrong deeds as we can. Since we all do so many wrongful and hurtful things throughout the whole year, during these 8 days (for Shwetambar Jains) we try to purify the wrongs we have done in the past year and ask for forgiveness from God and everyone with whom we are connected. Well, not only from the ones we are connected, but overall everyone living soul, even animals, whom we hurt/cause pain, unknowingly or otherwise.
And I think it is the toughest thing to, ask for forgiveness. And it is tougher, when we know we are guilty but we won’t ask for forgiveness because we are, often, either too egoistic or ashamed or any other reason otherwise. But this year it made me realize the power, the Godly power, of forgiveness. When we are absolutely ridiculed and annoyed by the other person’s behavior and we oath not to forgive them or never to talk to them, it is only us, within ourselves, that we are so pent-up with hateful, jealous and negatively emotions that we spoil ourselves rather than harming them. But forgiving is the most positive and best thing we can do to free our-self from such feelings. And I think I’m very lucky that those people, whom I have hurt by my actions, have genuinely forgiven me for all my actions/words I have caused them.
When I told my friends about this festival, they were somewhat shocked and confused. My friends often interrogated me with questions like: what is the need to observe fast in you, Jains, why you temporarily stop the consumption of potatoes, onions, the green vegetables, and guys please believe me, it IS hard to tell why. There is NO exact reason as to why. Some Jains observe, some don’t, it is just a matter of belief and overall faith in God and everyone has different ways of approach towards God. (And there are a lot of other foods you can have apart from these, so I don’t starve, my dear friends *winks*).
Anyway, so this time I thought to have a 8 days fast, but due to my exams, I could not gather the courage to do it. But then I thought, I should do something, at least something, so on the 5th night of Paryushan, I decided to do Tela (fasting continuously for three days and consuming water only from noon to 6pm). I HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE THIS WAS NOT A EASY TASK FOR ME, BECAUSE EVERYONE WHO KNOW ME KNOWS WHAT A GREAT “BHUKKAD” I AM. I can’t live even 4 hour without chewing something. And surviving for 72 hours without food was definitely as tough for me as giving the mathematics exam.
Even I could not believe that yes really I have survived for 3 days without Food! That is the most happiest day of my life, without any doubt. And by God’s grace, I survived this three days without any hurdles. Not even once did I wanted to have any food, infact I did not even want to drink water because you see, #1- it was boiled water, so tasteless, #2- the more water you drink, the more hungry you get.
Observing this fast made me realize a lot of things;
Most importantly, I was also able to make my parents proud of me.
I analysed, we take everything so casually. I mean, has any of us ever felt so blessed that, yes we are so lucky we get proper meal everyday? We get to eat anything and everything we want. At our one wish, our parents are ready with everything we want, they never want us to feel the need to feel left out. Not only our parents, but also our loved ones (for me my brother), like, they want to give us, you, everything, the utmost of everything it is possible for them. Deeper thinking made me realize that we are so ridiculously lucky to get such amazing people in our lives. We complain we don’t have this, we should have that, why don’t we that and etc, but have you ever given a thought to the beggars on street, who has to begs, unwillingly, and for what? Just food. So that he/she can feed himself/herself and his/her family. Food is the basic criteria for the survival of every living soul. Even animals. People hush animals, street animals thinking they are dirty. No they are not dirty or filthy. People’s thinking are. They are not any different than us. We breathe the same air they exhale. Why do we prejudice with them? It is not correct. Never in any holy religious book it is written we should look down up on such people. Rather, we should try to give them as much as we can. We waste our time thinking of the ‘haves-not’, and comparing with the ‘haves’. But have you ever compared with ‘haves-not’ and ‘haves-not’? NO. At least not me, until this time.
I would like to request everyone, who has beard so long to read the article so long, please never ever hush them. Please give or donate, anything which is within your boundaries. Especially to the children. They are the most innocent souls. But never give money to them, instead buy them food, any sort of food, even a 10 rs packet of chips would be beneficial. Feeding a belly is more virtuous than anything in this world. And trust me, the joy you’ll feel after that is immeasurable. You’ll feel happy, satisfied content of your existence. I hope above anyone I am able to have everyone with whatever I HAVE, and even if a single person who is reading this article can bring this into their daily activity, my writing will truly be fruitful. And just like “Jai Ho”‘s theme, don’t say thank you, help other three people and tell them to help the other three people, the world would truly be a better place with this formula. 🙂
#PS: I truly feel very proud of myself after completing this, and trust me I really, most sincerely and without any cheating, did fast. And no, weight loss nahi hua(nahi khane se koi weight nahi loose hota, buddhu log 😛 ). Thank you everyone for their wishes, and hope in future I am able to do more than this.